United Taconite resumed production of taconite pellets on the Iron Range this week.
Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources had announced back in June that it would be restarting production two months earlier than the anticipated start date of October 2016.
This came shortly after the announcement of the company's 10-year-supply agreement with a major steel client; U.S. Steel Canada, to supply the majority of their iron ore pellet requirements for the third and fourth quarters of 2016. Cliffs also has a 10-year supply agreement with steel maker, ArcelorMittal.
The two agreements combined brings sales expectations to a higher level than anticipated in the previous forecast of sales for the company.
Last week, the company also, reached a tentative agreement with United Steelworkers on a new three year labor contract for their mining operations in both Minnesota and Michigan.
The labor contracts will provide Cliffs with a competitive cost structure for future success. The agreement is currently pending ratification by USW local union memberships. No additional details on the contract have been released at this time.